Vanitas, Palazzo Versace | Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA

As the door opened in front of me and as I walked out of the elevator I was instantly taken by the magnificently opulent chandelier sparkling in the foyer of Palazzo Versace (it was once hung in the State Library of Milan!). I was there for a bespoke event hosted by Palazzo Versace for the reveal of their award-winning restaurant, Vanitas, which had recently undergone a little rejuvenation. It was promised to be a night like no other as the newly revitalised restaurant is set to reinvigorate and elevate the senses of its guests through bespoke fine dining. 

How intriguing. 

Vanitas is beautiful, especially given its sweeping views of the hotel’s sparkling lagoon and the exquisite 13-metre canvas painting presenting the life of Gianni Versace. The ambiance is sophisticated yet intimate.

The newly appointed Chef de Cuisine, Dayan Hartill-Law, has a resume that most chefs’ dream of, with experience at the 3 hatted restaurant Quay in Sydney, the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London and most recently working with George Calombaris. I was so eager to find out what this chef had up in his sleeve. 

It was an interesting dinner affair like no other, just as promised. Chef Hartill-Law definitely pushes the boundaries of creativity. Dinner commenced with the “Golden Onion” being presented in front of our eyes, a visual feast of liquid nitrogen dancing around a golden onion. What followed was an array of intriguing and delicious works of art that fed the senses as much as my stomach, including kingfish and flavours of XO, “Foie Rocher”, wagyu + potato + onion, not to mention the cauliflower cornetto that put the finishing touch to the eight course dinner. I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole and arrived at the Wonderland of Gastronomy, dish after dish, I devoured them all. My favourite of the night was the tooth fish + coconut & lime + beach succulents. The tooth fish was extremely smooth and soft in texture, its sweet flesh literally melted in my mouth while the beach succulents added a slight crunch of contrasting texture to each mouthful. It was an absolutely divine dish that would make you crave its flavours for days afterwards.

At the end of the dinner, Chef Hartill-Law came out to talk to us about his philosophy for Vanitas. He promised that the menu would be ever evolving and  that it’s designed to celebrate the best in seasonal and sustainable produce available to the restaurant on the Gold Coast and environs. I applaud him for that, for being brave and innovative and for supporting the local growers. I think the menu at Vanitas is brilliantly done and it’s puts an unique and daring touch to the current fine dining scene around town. 

Let Vanitas ignite all of your six senses…

Disclaimer: DolceBunnie was an invited guest of Palazzo Versace, however my opinion is as always, my own.

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